According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Colorado is one of the fastest growing states in the country. In 2016, the state was home to about 5.5 million people, nearly 100,000 more than the previous year. Known for its high elevation and the Rocky Mountains that run through the state, Colorado’s biggest cities include Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Boulder, and Pueblo. The state is also home to several major universities, including the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, the University of Denver, and the School of Mines. These extensive university systems and the resources that they provide make this state an excellent place to pursue a higher education degree.

While researching online MBA programs in Colorado, there are several factors to consider. It’s important to apply for in-state resident status, as tuition rates for in-state MBA students can be nearly $10,000 less per semester than tuition rates for out-of-state residents. Some colleges offer discounts to online learners. An online MBA program generally takes about two to three years to complete. Many programs require students to choose a concentration in healthcare, finance, accounting, international business, management, or other areas.

tuition rates for in-state MBA students can be nearly $10,000 less per semester than tuition rates for out-of-state residents

It’s also important to check whether the online MBA in Colorado you apply for has any on-campus requirements, like proxied tests or intensives. Online MBA programs often require applicants to submit GMAT scores, but there are a few exceptions. Colorado Christian University and Colorado State University do not require this exam, and the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs allows students with significant management experience or a previous graduate degree to waive the GMAT.

Percentage of Students Enrolled by Distance Education
Percentage of students enrolled at Title IV institutions in Colorado, by distance education enrollment status, Fall 2012

MBA Concentrations for Colorado Students

Some online MBA in Colorado programs offers concentrations that prepare students to work in some of the state’s major industries. According to the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Colorado’s major industries include aerospace, health and wellness, financial services, retail, and tourism. The state’s major employers include Denver’s HealthONE Corporation, Centura Health, and SCL Health Systems. Below, are two common MBA concentrations that are relevant to major industries in the state.


Concentrations for Colorado MBA Students

  • Healthcare: This concentration focuses on administration, policy, ethics, law, and finance to prepare students for jobs within health-related organizations, such as insurance companies, hospitals, and research facilities.
  • Finance: Students who choose this concentration typically take classes in financial management, international finance, investment management, and economics. An emphasis in finance prepares student for careers in analysis, management, and other areas; financial analysts and managers can find work in most industries.

Accreditation in Colorado

There are two types of accreditation. National accreditation is usually awarded to for-profit school and trade or vocational schools. Regional accreditation is awarded to nonprofit, degree-focused schools. This type is typically more authoritative and popular.

MBA students should look at programs that are regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, which oversees regional accreditation in Colorado. Accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which oversees accreditation for business and accounting programs, is also important to have.

MBA graduates typically have a higher earning potential and receive more job opportunities than individuals with an undergraduate degree.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Colorado’s 2016 gross domestic product was $323.7 billion, which was a 2% increase from the previous year. The national average was 1.5% for gross domestic product growth. The state’s overall economic growth rate for 2016 was around 2.4%, while the U.S. economic growth rate was 1.9%. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Colorado’s current unemployment rate is 2.5%, which is the second lowest rate in the nation. The national unemployment rate is currently around 4.2%.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Colorado’s current unemployment rate is 2.5%, which is the second lowest rate in the nation.

As of 2015, the retail and healthcare industries employed the most people in Colorado. The healthcare industry flourishes in Colorado due to the state’s extensive university systems, which are known for their science, aerospace, and medical research, especially the University of Colorado Anschutz in Aurora. Colorado’s top cities for employment include Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Greeley, and Fort Collins.

Company Industry Headquarters City Number of Employees
HealthONE Corporation Healthcare Denver 11,050
Lockheed Martin Aviation/Aerospace Littleton 14,000

The salary that you obtain after earning an online MBA will depend on the industry, employer, and location in Colorado. Below, you will find information about income and salary for students who earn their online MBA degrees.

An MBA commonly leads to a higher salary and a greater chance of finding managerial positions. The degree also prepares you for more careers. While some students continue their educational paths to earn doctoral degrees in business, an MBA is typically considered a terminal degree, which means it is the final necessary degree in this field. On average, individuals with MBAs earn nearly $40,000 more per year than individuals with bachelor’s degrees in business. In many cases, depending on the specific position and employer, individuals with MBAs can double or triple their earning potential.

Average Salary by Degree
Search Programs by Concentration

Careers for MBAs in Colorado

Medical and Health Services Manager

The state’s growing healthcare industry is leading to more jobs in healthcare management. The projected employment growth for this profession is 17%, which is much faster than the national average, and Colorado currently employs between 1,500 and 4,500 health services managers.

Financial Manager

Financial managers can earn upwards of $120,000 per year. The BLS projects that this job will grow by 7%, which is about as fast as the national average.

Financial Analyst

These professionals help businesses and individuals make smart investment decisions. Colorado currently employs between 2,000 and 6,000 financial analysts, and this job is projected to grow by 12%.

Chief Executives

Chief executives make policy and other business decisions. These professionals can find work in many industries, including aerospace, healthcare, and tourism industries. The mean annual wage for a chief executive is $194,350.

Sales Manager

This type of manager oversees sales goals, data, and training programs for businesses. There are currently between 3,500 and 7,500 sales managers in Colorado, and the BLS projects a job growth rate of 5% for this position.

Below, is a list of the best online MBA programs in Colorado. The programs vary by length, course offerings, tuitions rate, concentrations offered, and format. When looking for an MBA program, be sure to take the time to find one that fits with your career and personal goals.

Rank School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description

Adams State University

Location Alamosa, CO Tuition Tuition $15,120 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population 3,404 School Type Public
View School Profile

University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus

Location Denver, CO Tuition Tuition $29,808 % Receiving Financial Aid 36% Student Population 23,671 School Type Public
View School Profile

University of Colorado Colorado Springs

Location Colorado Springs, CO Tuition Tuition $29,484 % Receiving Financial Aid 47% Student Population 11,988 School Type Public
View School Profile

Colorado Christian University

Location Lakewood, CO Tuition Tuition $21,645 % Receiving Financial Aid 52% Student Population 6,879 School Type Private
View School Profile

Colorado State University - Fort Collins

Location Fort Collins, CO Tuition Tuition $39,732 % Receiving Financial Aid 45% Student Population 30,614 School Type Public
View School Profile

Regis University

Location Denver, CO Tuition Tuition $34,200 % Receiving Financial Aid 56% Student Population 8,725 School Type Private
View School Profile

Colorado State University - Pueblo

Location Pueblo, CO Tuition Tuition $13,500 % Receiving Financial Aid 57% Student Population 7,563 School Type Public View School Profile

Colorado Technical University

Location Colorado Springs, CO Tuition Tuition $28,080 % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population 22,757 School Type Private
View School Profile

University of Denver

Location Denver, CO Tuition Tuition $77,940 % Receiving Financial Aid 40% Student Population 11,614 School Type Private
View School Profile

How to Choose an Online MBA in Colorado

There are many important considerations to make before settling on an online MBA program in Colorado. These include factors discussed above like cost, accreditation, and available specializations. The following list includes some key steps to follow during the program research process for MBA options in any state.

  • Compare student outcomes data

    Student outcomes include graduation rate, year-to-year retention rate, the average debt for a graduate from that school, and overall student satisfaction with their degree program. Student outcomes do not guarantee you will be satisfied with a particular program, but can be useful for pinpointing a school’s strengths and weaknesses.

  • Estimate the expected costs of your programs

    Virtually every accredited college or university posts tuition rates online. Additionally, you should research other college-related costs like living accommodations and meal plans (if you plan to live on-campus), administrative fees, and technology fees (for online students). You should also look into scholarships, grants, and other forms of institutional financial aid that can offset some of the costs.

  • Check that classes will fit in with your schedule

    Scheduling is critical for students with other important commitments, such as childcare or full-time employment. Many online programs are asynchronous, or self-paced; students in these tracks are free to complete course requirements on their own schedule. Synchronous programs, on the other hand, require weekly online meetings with teachers and fellow students.

  • Look for partnerships with local businesses

    A large number of online MBA programs include internship and/or capstone practicum requirements ― and in many cases, students are able to gain on-the-job training and real-world office experience. You should look into the school’s business partnerships, particularly in regard to the industry you plan to enter after earning your MBA.

  • Make sure the program is accredited

    Accreditation status should always be available and easily accessible on a school’s website. In addition to regional or national accreditation, some MBA pathways receive programmatic accreditation. Recognized programmatic accreditors for MBA programs include the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) and the International Accreditation Counsel for Business Education (IACBE).

  • Talk to current students and/or recent alumni

    You should contact the alumni office at each school you are considering and ask to be connected with former students. These individuals can be good sources of information about education costs, life on- and off-campus, local business tips, and other important details for aspiring MBA students.

Online MBA Programs in Surrounding States